Lessons that Can be Learned from the COVID-19 and Sinophobia Pandemics
1) We all belong to the same race – the human race. COVID-19 reminds us that we are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, occupation, financial situation, or how famous we are. Perhaps we should treat all people equally too.
2) Unite, don’t divide. These pandemics remind us that placing blame doesn’t solve anything, but just makes solutions more difficult. Rather, working together solves problems.
3) Good leadership is critically important. These crises show us how important leadership is. Everyone can be a positive leader in their own way. Take charge of your life and educate yourself so that you can select leaders who will be strong and right in their decision-making. They impact your life down to the core. Be sure to sign up for the census and vote.
4) Social connectedness. They remind us that we are all interconnected and that something that affects one person has an effect on another. They remind us that the physical and mental borders that we put up have little value as these pandemics do not need passports.
5) Compassion for those with less. These crises are presenting all of us with new hardships, which gives us some sense of how many in this world spend their whole lives in hardship.
6) Good health is top priority. They remind us of how precious our health is and how we have often neglected it through poor eating habits and not treating our environment with the importance and respect that it deserves. Don’t take good health for granted.
7) Be a responsible citizen. They remind us of the fleeting time we are alive and that each of us could try to leave this world better than when we entered it. Perhaps we could lend a hand to others, rather than stepping on others – now and in the future.
8) Keep things in perspective. They remind us of how important our family and friends are and how some of us have neglected them in the pursuit of material wealth. They remind us that it is the essentials in life (i.e., food, water, shelter, safety, health, clean air, social order, and education) that we need to value and pay more attention to.
9) Ethics and Morality are important. They remind us that difficulties bring out our true colors. It is our choice whether to be selfish or generous. To help others or not. Generosity will make each of us a better person and our country a better place to live. The outpouring of generosity for others during these crises has been uplifting and heartwarming. Let’s keep it up.
10) Expertise matters. They remind us that the earth is sick and that many people are sick. Physically and mentally. We need to heed what the doctors/scientists/psychologists are telling us.
This is a time for reflection, education, and understanding. This is a time when we can learn from our past mistakes so that when the COVID-19 pandemic passes, we can make improvements. It is also a time to understand that the Sinophobia pandemic doesn’t just go away with a vaccine. We need to work actively to eliminate this virus. All of us deserve to be treated with fairness and equality. All of us need to work in concert for a brighter future. Thanks for your consideration.
Chair, The 1990 Institute April 13, 2020